Massive 5-alarm fire in San Francisco scorches high-rise building, threatens neighborhoods

SAN FRANCISCO - A massive fire erupted at a construction site in San Francisco's China Basin neighborhood, sending a plume of black smoke high into the sky.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the fire, which began Tuesday afternoon, is ravaging a high-rise building on Fourth Street and is continuing to move down the block.

Talmadge said the building was under construction, which makes battling the blaze more difficult because the building's fire suppression systems had not yet been installed.

The fire was initially ruled a three-alarm fire, which typically involves about 100 firefighters, fire officials said.

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